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One of the most helpful outlets that I’ve leaned on during this chaotic year has been music. Many artists have been able to use their time in quarantine to create new songs and albums that have certainly helped me carry on throughout 2020. So, without further ado, here are ten of my favorite songs that were released in the past year that you should definitely check out.

“You should be sad” by Halsey

Halsey’s third studio album came out at the very beginning of the year and I’m still obsessed with it. “You should be sad” has a hint of country in its production and its lyrics contain some of Halsey’s bravest and most vengeful lines to date. Noteworthy lyric: “I’m so glad I never ever had a baby with you, ‘cause you can’t love nothing unless there’s something in it for you.”

“Therefore I Am” by Billie Eilish

I genuinely listen to this song on repeat all of the time. Billie’s music never ceases to amaze me, and “Therefore I Am” was no exception. Her music consistently makes me feel powerful and capable of anything. Noteworthy lyric: “Don't talk ‘bout me like how you might know how I feel. Top of the world, but your world isn’t real; your world’s an ideal.”

“Chinatown” by Bleachers, featuring Bruce Springsteen

Jack Antonoff (aka the musical genius behind the project Bleachers) has done it yet again. The recently released “Chinatown” is an incredibly catchy release from Bleachers that features the legend himself, Bruce Springsteen. It’s definitely the type of song that you want to listen to at top volume while driving down an empty highway at night. Noteworthy lyric: “I’ll take you out of the city, honey, right into the shadow. Because I wanna find tomorrow, yeah, I wanna find tomorrow with you, baby.”

“Savage (Remix)” by Megan Thee Stallion, featuring Beyoncé

This song went viral on TikTok earlier in the year and I am forever grateful for that because it deserves the hype that it gets. Megan’s original song was already iconic, but then this remix featuring Beyoncé was released and it was one of the best moments of the year. Noteworthy lyric: “Let’s play a game, Simon says I’m still that b**ch, I’m still that b**ch, yeah.”

“Gaslighter” by The Chicks

This song is an anthem for anyone who has ever been in a toxic relationship or friendship. It was such an empowering way for The Chicks to open their long-awaited eighth studio album. Noteworthy lyric: “Gaslighter, you broke me. You’re sorry, but where’s my apology?”

“Dead Horse” by Hayley Williams

Speaking of songs that depict toxic relationships, “Dead Horse” has some of my favorite lyrics of the year. This song is raw and real and Hayley doesn’t hold anything back. Noteworthy lyric: “Sometimes it’s good to be the bigger person, but I’m so small I can’t compare and after all, it’s only fair.”

“Savior Complex” by Phoebe Bridgers

This has become my most played song (according to Spotify) and it’s probably because I’ve listened to it religiously since its release. It’s one of the most calming songs ever and I won’t ever stop talking about it. I am indebted to Phoebe Bridgers. Noteworthy lyric: “I’m a bad liar with a savior complex. All the skeletons you hide — show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.”

“Bad Friend” by Rina Sawayama

This song gets stuck in my head constantly. The production is exquisite and it’s just one of those songs that you could never get tired of. If you haven’t checked out Rina’s debut album yet then you need to ASAP, it’s so good. Noteworthy lyric: “God, it’s insane how things can change like that. Don’t even know where you are, what you do, and who you do it with.”

“Do It” by Chloe x Halle

I recently discovered Chloe x Halle and they deserve so much more attention. Their second album Ungodly Hour is a gorgeous piece of work (that recently got nominated for three Grammys). This song in particular is definitely one of my favorites! Noteworthy lyric: “Tiptoe ‘round a hater, I’m light on my feet. That’s how you do it, keep stuntin’ on your enemies. Good vibes only.”

“this is me trying” by Taylor Swift

This is definitely one of Taylor’s best songs. The lyrics are incredibly heartbreaking, but they’re also so relatable and beautifully written. I can’t put into words how much this song means to me. Noteworthy lyric: “They told me all of my cages were mental, so I got wasted like all my potential. And my words shoot to kill when I’m mad, I have a lot of regrets about that.”

Courtney Wells

UC Riverside '22

Courtney is an undergrad at UC Riverside with a major in Sociology and a minor in Feminist Studies. She is passionate about social justice, intersectional feminism, and political activism. She is a lover of reading, iced tea, dad jokes, scary movies, cheese fries, and Taylor Swift. She can usually be found rewatching Pride and Prejudice (2005) with her cats.
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